1st World Schooling Progress Report
Well, here we are on the journey of a lifetime and we have two children who are a part of our traveling tribe. What does a family do when there is a school-aged child amongst them during a ten month traveling excursion? The answer is in world schooling. More nomadic than homeschooling, more tangible than virtual schooling, more purpose driven than "unschooling;" world schooling is a type of education taken on by hundreds of families all across the world who seek to educate young, school-aged children through a variety of experiences utilizing the whole world to serve as the classroom.
Here are several photos and vignettes below describing our world schooling experience thus far...
One might ask, "what exactly is world schooling? Can you give me some details?" We are not experts by any means and we are sure there are several different answers to that question depending on which nomadic family is asked. For us, it is a combination of traditional moments of schooling combined with field experiences only to be obtained abroad. We typically take advantage of at least one hour per day in which we sit down and focus on "academics" with our seven year old 1st grader. We do this before we hit the "field" in what we refer to as our endless field trip. What do the "academics" entail? Generally speaking, we implement several approaches in what is documented below. First, we try and utilize apps on our tablets for educational purposes.
Furthermore, we encourage frequent writing through blog posts. You can visit our son's travel blog at www.kyantravelstheworld.weebly.com
We really appreciate the blog because it allows our son to obtain digital literacy skills at a young age while also composing his thoughts into his own writing. The blog is designed and composed 95% solely by him. We assist when it may become too overwhelming or beyond his scope. Reading and "writing" skills are built into the blogging. He especially benefits from when comments are left on his posts by visitors to his blog. He has to read the comments and then respond through writing!
We also try and find ways to work on mathematics using manipulatives (or better yet, coins from the countries we are visiting so we can also extend the counting to discuss exchange rates). We add, subtract and even multiply. His little sister even gets into this part of world schooling. This skill has even dovetailed into lessons on "saving." We are now encouraging saving so he can purchase something he would like abroad. He counts his coins and keeps up with how many he has until he earns enough to meet his goal.
When we discuss writing it typically is in reference to composing thoughts as in the blogging we do on a regular basis. However, we acknowledge the importance of handwriting and legibly scripting out words onto a page so we also try and keep an informal journal.
The aforementioned reference of "field" experiences and field trips is ever present. We have been very thankful to have experienced visits to multiple museums, landmarks, cathedrals, ancient fortresses, historical monuments, old castles and other ruins, mountains, rivers and other bodies of water, preserved palaces, a salt preserve, castles, and more.
The photo immediately above is when we visited the Lello Bookshop in Porto, Portugal. What a way to embrace and celebrate literacy even while in another country! We bought a book during our visit and we use this book when we do "read-alouds."
Another field trip is documented below. We celebrated the arts when we visited the Picasso Museum in Pablo Picasso's hometown of Malaga, Spain.
We also have utilized the various modes of recycling embraced around the world and have taken "field trips" to recycle our own waste. We are trying to instill practices for our children to take care of the world around them especially as WE enjoy the world and all the beauty it has to offer us on a daily basis. Pictured to the right are street-side recycling containers in Portugal.
Obviously, map skills are important as we travel. We try and model the importance of map skills and knowing geography, especially as we make heads and tails of our own travel itineraries and how to get around strange places. We also have introduced google maps and we are quite surprised how much own son has taken a liking to maps and finding places and searching for others.
All of the different aspects of our world schooling experience is only what we have implemented thus far. We believe there is no real way to quantify the real amount of learning going on so far in the minds of our children. For just about every hour of the day, new knowledge is being poured into their brains or old knowledge is being affirmed or transformed by their eclectic experiences during travel. Learning new languages, tasting new foods, hearing new sounds, being immersed in new customs and cultures are all a part of the world schooling experience and this is happening in all aspects of our journey together and primarily outside of that one hour per day in which we sit down and "focus."
We will continue to seek new learning opportunities and we look forward to what is to come as we continue our adventure.